Emperor, Empress Arrive in Jakarta for 1st Overseas Goodwill Trip

By Daisuke Kawakami / The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Emperor and Empress are welcomed at their accomodation in Jakarta on Saturday.

The Emperor and Empress landed in Jakarta on Saturday evening for their first official visit to Indonesia. It is the Imperial couple’s first overseas goodwill trip since the Emperor ascended the throne.

The Imperial couple are set to attend a welcome ceremony, a meeting and a luncheon with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife, Iriana, as guests of honor.

The departure ceremony was held earlier in the day at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and was attended by Crown Prince Akishino, Crown Princess Kiko, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indonesian Charge d’Affaires Ad Interim of the Indonesian Ambassador in Tokyo John Tjahjanto Boestami, among others.

The Imperial couple smiled as they entered the aircraft shortly before 11 a.m.

On Monday, the Emperor and Empress are to meet with descendants of Japanese soldiers who stayed in Indonesia after the Pacific War. The following day, the couple will visit the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery to lay flowers at the graves of Indonesians and Japanese who died during the Indonesian War of Independence.

On Wednesday, the Emperor plans to go to the ancient capital city of Yogyakarta to visit the Sabo Technical Center, for which Japan provided technical cooperation. On Thursday, the Emperor is set to visit the World Heritage Borobudur Temple.

The Emperor and Empress will return to Japan on Friday evening.

It is the first time in 32 years for a Japanese Emperor and Empress to visit Indonesia. The Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita previously visited the country in October 1991 when they were Emperor and Empress.

During the Imperial couple’s visit to Indonesia, Crown Prince Akishino will perform matters of state on behalf of the Emperor.